Snarky, unconventional humor that pokes fun at just about everything.

SPRINKLE GLITTER ON MY GRAVE

OBSERVATIONS, RANTS, AND OTHER UPLIFTING THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE

One woman’s quirky perspective on life.

The creator of Bravo’s Odd Mom Out, Kargman (Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut: Essays and Observations, 2011, etc.) dishes out a variety of essays that poke fun at herself, her family, friends, and the world in general. Short, acerbic, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, the narratives come from her experiences as a teen, a wife, a mother, and from observations of the world around her. In “Orlandon’t,” she covers the multiple reasons not to take your child to Disney World: the color scheme, the endless lines, the expensive and tacky merchandise, etc. She writes about things that irk her—children in leopard leggings, identical twins who are dressed alike, tapas bars, “people in the audience at the Oscars who clap harder for some dead people than other dead people”—but also offers sweeter pieces such as her celebration of her mother’s words of wisdom. Her humor is often laced with expletives and slang terms, adding a hipster attitude that’s not really needed to achieve the level of humor she’s striving to reach. If you want to know how she and her family got coveted plots in a cemetery on Nantucket, read “Dying to Get In.” Curious to know who she’s had a lifelong crush on? “You’re the One that I Want.” Ever wonder what a stripper class is like? Kargman attended one and lets you know what she thinks. Everything is fair game as the author babbles about the difficulty of getting her son into kindergarten in New York, why her family resembles the Munsters, being a Jewish child and attending summer camp in Maine, questions she poses to the universe, her love of Thanksgiving, or euphemisms she’s invented. The collection is an odd mix best read in short spurts. Prepare to laugh, but then move on, as this fluff is not very filling.

Snarky, unconventional humor that pokes fun at just about everything.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-59457-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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